L Brands Inc. showed some renewed vigor in October, jolting investors on Wall Street.
The company said sales last month rose 5 percent to $794.1 million with a comparable sales increase of 2 percent. (The parent company to Victoria’s Secret has seen sales suffer for over a year since the chain started to exit the apparel and swim categories, a move which cut overall comps by about 1 percent.)
Third-quarter earnings are expected to be at the high end of the firm’s prior guidance, of 25 cents to 30 cents a share.
Shares of L Brands jumped up 9.4 percent to $47.70 in after-hours trading.
The jump in the share price is a result in part of the recent sales trend, which shows a marked turn. For the 39 weeks of the fiscal year so far, L Brand’s sales were down 3 percent to $7.8 billion, with a 6 percent comp decrease. The exit of swim and apparel had a negative impact of about 5 percent on the company’s total comps.
The company, led by chief executive officer Leslie Wexner, has pivoted its business model, adjusting promotions and focusing on its core intimates category.
Management will update analysts on Thursday at the company’s annual investor day, in which Wexner often weighs in broadly on the retail and consumer world.
Last year, the closely watched ceo said most brands live about 10 years successfully and then have to reinvent.
He called out Starbucks, Nike and Louis Vuitton as brands outside of L Brands that connect. Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor and J. Crew were all deemed to be missing the mark with shoppers.
“What we value and what we work hard to create are great fashion brands and I contrast that with some store brands…there was a time when Gap was a great brand and the emotional content that went to the brand, giving it premium value and premium margin,” he said. “Abercrombie had that at some point in time.”